Thursday, October 1, 2015

Spring Break Road Trip-March 2015

Wednesday/Thursday March 25th/26th 2015

We left for Moab, Utah at 10 pm. It takes about 6 hours to get there and we always prefer driving through the night for longer trips so we don't waste daylight (Plus its cheaper than staying at a hotel if you just sleep in your car). Dave drove the entire time. I slept. Not a very restful sleep but ya know how car sleeping is. We knew where we wanted to start our 1st hike so we went straight into Arches National Park and parked at the trail head for Delicate Arch at about 4am. Since it was still pitch black outside we both slept until the sun started coming up. We started the hike at around 6:30. At some point we ended up going the wrong way and having to hike around the top of this very slanted rock around this huge rock bowl thing. I was scared I was gonna slip and die basically. It was scary. The whole time I'm thinking there's no way this is the trail because the website says kids can hike this trail and it was just really steep and on the edge. So after taking pictures and realizing more people were showing up and none of them came the way we did we found the real way out which was totally flat and not scary like you're gonna fall and die. Fail us. But we survived.

Delicate Arch and to the right in this pic you can see the large bowl where we could've slipped and died if we had fallen into it

After that hike we headed to a short trail to Broken Arch and then Sand Dune Arch. Took some pics and when we got back to the car we headed out of Arches National park to get to the place where we had our reservation to go rappelling! We got to High Point Hummer & ATV and checked in for our trip that started at 12:30. It was Dave and me, a man and his teenager son and then 2 lead guys and 2 others who were going to be leaders but were still training or something. We got our gear and loaded up into this big van and headed out to the canyon. We had to hike down about a mile to where the first rappel was. We got there and the guide set up and was just hanging off the side explaining how to rappel and the whole time I'm thinking that's crazy I don't get it. I was nervous but definitely not as nervous as Dave. He is afraid of heights and when I told him to drink some more water before putting in his backpack he said "Gotta make sure my bladder's full so I can piss myself" haha.

The man with his son was the first one. He had been rappelling before and he made it look pretty easy. Then his son went and then I went. I decided I was just gonna go for it and that's what I did. Once I got the feel for it and how to hold the rope and stuff it wasn't bad. It was so much fun. Dave went next and he did good too. At the bottom of the rappel I was getting really excited for the next one since it was a higher drop and there would be a part where we weren't against anything and we would just hang.

It was about 100 yards to the next rappel off of Morning Glory Arch. Dave went first for this one. He was so cute shuffling his feet down the wall. I went second. This one was so much fun especially since I wasn't as nervous starting out. I got to the bottom and just wanted to go again. I loved it! We waited at the bottom and watched the other people come down. The last guide to come down went completely upside down and stopped right before he hit the ground and flipped back upright. It was pretty cool and so scary looking. Once everyone was down we had to hike down 2 miles to the where the pick up van would be. It was the longest 2 miles ever. I think since the excitement of the rappel was behind us and we were tired and hungry it felt like such a longer hike than it really was. When we got back to the place we got in our car and practically crossed the street to the Days Inn and checked into our room. We freshened up and had a couple fresh baked chocolate chip cookies from the lobby that were amazing and then we went to eat.

Broken Arch

 Rappel guides leading the way down to our 1st rappel
 Dave, ready to piss himself, and me

Dave doing the 1st rappel

2nd rappel at Morning Glory Arch

Me doing the 2nd rappel

we did it!

We ate at Miquel's Baja Grill. My friend from school recommended it and so did the guides for our rappelling trip so we were hoping it'd be amazing and it was. We both ordered the M.O.A.B. aka mother of all burritos...and it was. It didn't disappoint and we also got guacamole that was delicious as well. After we were full and happy we went back to the hotel and got ready for bed since we were running on very limited sleep and were exhausted from a full day.

Friday, March 27th 2015
We woke up and went down to the continental breakfast and they had a waffle maker so we were super excited. So we both had those and they were delicious. Then we packed up the car and checked out of the hotel and headed to Corona Arch hike. It was about 1.5 miles to the arch and such a neat hike. There was this part with a rope to climb up this rock and then this small ladder and the arch was really pretty and it was just a really good hike.

Corona Arch
little rock garden with Corona Arch in the background

After we got back to the car we headed to Canyonlands National Park which was about 40 minutes away. The park has 2 parts and they don't connect which I thought was kinda weird so we went to the north part called Island in the Sky. It was the top of a canyon and on the 3d map they had at the visitors center you could totally tell why they called it Island in the Sky. We went to the furthest hike they had and it was really pretty. It was similar looking to the Grand Canyon but there were some mountains way in the distance with snow on them and it was really pretty. After that hike we went to another hike to this crater thing. Then we hiked to Mesa Arch this cute little arch with a really pretty view looking through it.

Our 1st hike that was along the edge of the canyon

 Upheaval Dome overlook

Mesa Arch

After we finished at Canyonlands National Park we went back into downtown Moab and ate at Miquel's again because it was so good the first time we were craving it again. After we ate we left Moab and headed to Grand Junction, Colorado about an hour and a half away to where we were staying at another Days Inn. This one was way newer than the Moab one so it was pretty nice.

Saturday, March 28th 2015
Guess what we had for breakfast?? Waffles we made in the waffle maker and they were just as delicious as the ones we had in Moab. After breakfast we headed to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. We had hoped to go snowboarding at Sunglight Mountain resort but with the really warm weather we were having we decided not to risk spending the money for crappy snow. So we pretty much just kinda winged it and had a lot of fun. I got recommendations from my friend Laura so we did some stuff she suggested. We parked near Glenwood Hot Springs and walked to Hotel Colorado this really old, pretty hotel. Then we walked to eat some lunch at Glenwood Canyon Brew Pub. Lunch was really yummy and Dave of course had a beer that he really liked.

After lunch we went to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. The park is up on top of a mountain so you buy your ticket and then have to ride the gondola to the actual park. It was super crowded so that sucked cuz there were long lines for almost every ride. We started at a cave tour and had to wait like 45 minutes for that and it wasn't really worth it. I wish the tour had been shorter but oh well. After that we went to ride the coaster and that was another long wait but it was super fun zipping down the mountain. Then we went to these swings like normal amusement park swings only they are on the cliff side so when you swing around that side it feels like you're flying and it was such a crazy feeling. I got butterflies in my stomach every time I swung around the side and the ground beneath you just disappears. Dave didn't ride this one with me. He might've had a heart attack if he had. I loved it though. I also rode this zipline ride that was pretty cool. Then we went to get drinks since there was a line for the gondola to leave the park. Well even after drinks there was still a long line but Dave and me rode separate down the hill just so we could get down faster. They also gave us vouchers for discounted tickets to come back because usually it's not that long of a wait to leave cuz they normally have a bus taking people down the mountain too I think.

When we finally got back to the car we drove to Carbondale, CO to check in to yet another Days Inn for the night. Right outside our room window there was a river and the sound of that was really nice. For dinner we went right across the street to Red Rocks Diner and it was ok. After dinner it was bed time.

Sunday, March 29th 2015
We had breakfast at the hotel but THERE WAS NO WAFFLE MAKER! So disappointing after the other 2 Days Inn having them. So we left and drove home with a few stops on the way. We stopped at the Outlets in Silverthorne and just went to the Nike outlet and then left and went to the Indian Hot Springs. It was really hot in the building where the pool was and the water was like hot tub water. There were a lot of really pretty plants and trees too. And it felt so good to just relax after a few days full of hiking and nonstop walking around.

After we were super hot and ready to leave we decided we wanted BeauJo's Pizza so we stopped in Arvada and ate there on the way home and holy crap it was so good. Their crust is really yummy and they give you honey for the crust too so it's like a dessert.

Leaving Carbondale

Indian Hot Springs

When we left there we started "singing" songs basically like turkeys. I don't remember how we started doing this but it was so funny and I'm pretty sure we were just delirious. I just love Dave and that we can be completely weird and silly around each other. I just have so much fun with him and I can't wait to travel more with him. Traveling with him is my favorite.

We got home and squeezed up the cutest kitties in the world and gave them lots of love and relaxed the rest of the night.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Rocky Mountain Engagement Pictures

Sunday, June 14th, 2015

We had Erika take our engagement pics with her camera up in Rocky Mountain National Park. We started at Trail Ridge Road where we only got a couple pics because it was sprinkling and super windy and cold. But this one is one of my favorites from the day.

On the way down from Trail Ridge Road we stopped at this overlook called Rainbow Curve and because of the rain there was this amazing rainbow!

Then we headed to Bear Lake. This bench is where Dave proposed. I love this one.

 Sprague Lake

in the meadow it really started coming down. Luckily I had an umbrella until it let up. 
Mountain weather is crazy!

 love the elk in the background of these

future Mr. and Mrs. Stanford :)
 ended pics with a little face scramble haha. Nailed it.
The end.

Our Engagement Story

The weekend of June 6th Dave and I were in Estes Park with the rest of his family for his cousin Anne's wedding. The wedding was at the Stanley Hotel and we stayed there the night of the wedding.

June 7th, 2015
We woke up and went to breakfast with Dave's mom at the hotel restaurant. Slowest service literally ever. But thankfully the food was delicious when we finally did eat. After breakfast we checked out, said goodbye to his family and went into Rocky Mountain National Park. We have been planning for months to have Erika take some pics of us in the park with her nice camera so I brought it to scope out places we wanted to come back to for pics the next weekend and since we were so tired from the wedding and partying the night before we weren't up for serious hiking.

We drove up to Bear Lake which is a lake we always visit in the park. It's just a short walk to the lake and its so pretty there. We started walking around the trail that loops around the lake and stopped when this couple left a bench and we took a seat and just sat and admired the view and talked about random stuff for a while. Then Dave asks "Do you want to marry me?" This is a question we always ask each other so it wasn't unusual for him to say this. While I gave him my answer which was "I'm gonna marry the shit out of you." He gets off the bench down on one knee and asks "Will you marry me?" My first thought was this isn't happening he's kidding then he pulls out a ring and I said "SHUT UP!" He says "I love you so much" And I said "yes!" and immediately started crying in disbelief and just pure happiness. He puts the ring on my finger and I just stare at it in disbelief that it's mine and it is the prettiest ring I have ever seen and I'm engaged to my best friend and love of my life.

I will never forget that moment when he got down on his knee and the look on his face. It was so perfect. I've known he was "the one" since about 2 weeks after our 1st date so waiting to make it official hasn't been easy but I am so happy it finally is!

After the proposal a man came over saying he overheard and heard my crying (haha) and asked if we wanted a picture so I gave him the camera (thank God I brought it!) and he took a couple pics for us.

Then we just stood there hugging and kissing and telling each other how much we love each other and being super mushy and it was perfect. That time with just us felt like we were the only 2 people  in the world and as corny as that sounds it is true and time that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world. Staring at the man I love and the beautiful ring he just gave me and him telling me how good it looks on my finger. PERFECT. I can't stop using that word because it's the only word to describe it :)

Looking back on it I can't believe how shocked I was. He showed no signs of being nervous or anything. I had absolutely no idea we would be getting engaged that day and I love that it was a complete surprise. I can't wait to call him my husband. I am the luckiest girl in the world.

My gorgeous ring with the gorgeous view where he proposed :)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Last Vacation of the Summer

So I started school the day after our last trip of the summer which is why its almost November and I'm just now posting this. It's long and I still probably left out a bunch of stuff. I had so much fun with Dave and Erika on this trip.

Saturday, August 9th
We woke up at 3 AM to catch our flight to New Orleans at 6. Dave's mom was nice enough to pick us up this early and take us to the airport. We were SO tired. Erika was delirious and cried laughing while in line at McDonald's at the airport over some joke she made that wasn't even funny hah. We got to New Orleans around noon and DANG was it HUMID. We walked out of the airport and it was so moist it was crazy. We picked up our rental car which was a new silver hyundai elantra (which I love) and it even had a Colorado license plate so that was awesome.

We headed to my Aunt & Uncles in Metairie about 20 minutes from the airport and had lunch with them from Danny & Clyde's. This place has the BEST shrimp po boys ever. They were awesome...just like Erika & me remembered from when we were little. We also enjoyed visiting with their sweet little Yorkie puppy, Pixie. She was so tiny & cute & way too squirmy for me to get a good pic of her.

After we visited for a while we headed out to New Orleans. It rained on the way there but stopped before we got parked and started walking. We went to the riverwalk mall and walked around the French Quarter & Bourbon street. There were a ton of people, guys & girls, wearing red dresses because they had a red dress run that afternoon around that area.

We ate at Cafe Maspero's and me & Erika shared a muffaletta sandwich which was yummy. Then we walked down Bourbon street and it was gross. There was trash everywhere and I guess cuz it rained it made it feel even more nasty. After that we went to Cafe DuMonde for beignets and MMMM they are amazing. Dave had never had them and he loved them so much. A random stranger even gave him their extra one cuz they didn't want it.

Bourbon Street

After beignets we were full & super tired so we headed back to the car and to my Aunt's & Uncle's and went to sleep.

Sunday, August 10th
We left New Orleans around 8am to head for Fort Walton Beach, Florida. It took 4 hours to get there and we checked in at Venus Condos (where we've stayed for YEARS) and then headed to the ocean with Sean & Michelle who were just there for the weekend. We hung out in the ocean talking for a couple hours and then Michelle & Sean had to leave :(

We ordered pizza from Hungry Howie's since we never had lunch and then hung out by the pool for a while. Later we went to Wal-Mart for food & drinks and also to Publix for some sushi & delicious crab dip. I loveeee seafood :)

Monday, August 11th
Erika & me layed out all day by the pool. Poor Dave got burnt so bad our first day when we were all floating in the ocean so he stayed in the room all day. After laying out we all napped and then got ready to go to Destin and eat at McGuire's Irish Pub for dinner. They have awesome burgers and the best spinach artichoke dip & chips you will ever eat. Erika & me got so full on spinach dip that we took like 2 bites of the burger we were sharing and had to just get a to go box for that. But it made for a yummy lunch the next day.

Dave & me waiting on our table at McGuire's

 sometimes we like to take pictures like they did in the old days when they didn't smile 

Tuesday, August 12th
Dave came out since it was kinda cloudy. We all played in the ocean for a while and it wasn't that clear. That green mushy seaweed that gets in your bathing suit was everywhere but we still had some fun. Since it was so cloudy Dave & me decided to go on a lunch date instead of dinner like we were originally planning. So we went in around noon and showered and got all fancy for our date.

We went to Angler's and we shared some nachos that were huge and we shared a seafood platter that was also big so we had leftovers. It was super yummy. Then we came back home and hung out in the room since it was still cloudy and then around 6:30 we packed up sushi and wine and headed to the beach to watch the sunset.

It was SO nice. We finished our sushi & bottle of wine and a while after the sun was down we went back to room and then hopped in the pool before it closed.

Wednesday, August 13th
We spent a lot of time in the ocean because it was absolutely beautiful. Super clear & no seaweed and it was just the prettiest I've ever seen it. So we hung out on our floats in the ocean and Erika was searching for sand dollars. We also played games to see who could stay on their float the longest without using legs or feet to balance when the waves hit us and that was fun.

After more pool time we got ready for dinner in Destin again. We went to AJ's because Michelle & Sean had recommended it. We got seafood platters that were huge and also very delicious.

Thursday, August 14th
We went to the ocean for 1 last time. It was really pretty but you could see the seaweed start to come back in before we left. We went to the pool for a while and then packed & checked out to head to Birmingham.

Before heading to Birmingham we had to get wings at Buffalo's Reef. They have really good wings and curly fries. On the ride home we played the Alphabet game. Dave had the great idea to do ghetto black names that way we'd have to make them up and also it would be harder to remember since they'd be made up. Some of my favorites were Herfweshon, Pearl Nay Nay, Von Twee Twee, Ramadainniqua. That game lasted like over an hour and usually we play it in probably about 10 minutes. It was hilarious.

Made it to Birmingham around 9 and it was so good to see my Mom and Dad again since I hadn't seen them in over a year. Also good to see my puppy Emma. She's been really sick and not eating & her sister Chi-Chi passed away earlier this year and I just feel so bad for her. She is so skinny. Poor thing :(

Friday, August 15th
We woke up and went to get a wedding gift for Lindsay while my Dad and Dave went to return our rental car from New Orleans and pick us up a new one for the couple days we'd be in Birmingham. Then they met us at Academy & then we went to Munoz for delicious mexican and WHITE cheese dip! Michelle met us there and we had margaritas and I got a spinach & mushroom quesadilla & a lot of white cheese dip. It was so good. I miss Alabama mexican food so much. We have no good places in Colorado for mexican and NOWHERE has white cheese dip. It's all orange and spicy & not as good. After lunch we went home and Dave and I got ready to head to Lindsay's mom's house for the wedding rehearsal.

We got to Lindsay's moms house and then headed down the street to Sweet Apple Farm where they were getting married. It was such a pretty venue with all the rolling green hills & trees. For dinner we had BBQ & banana pudding that was amazing. I think it was from Golden Corral. After dinner we helped decorate some and then Dave & me headed back to my parents to sleep.

Leslie (Maid of honor) me (bridesmaid), and Lindsay (bride) at the rehearsal dinner

all the bridesmaids with the bride
Jennifer, LeeAnn, Leslie, Lindsay, me and Stephanie
Jennifer & LeeAnn are the twins older sisters and Stephanie is their cousin

Saturday, August 16th- Lindsay's Wedding Day!
Saturday morning Dave & me woke up early to head to Lindsay's since I had to be at the salon to get my hair done at 10. Which ended up being totally pointless since they didn't even start on my hair until after 12 and by the time we took pictures my hair looked like crap cuz of the stupid humidity. ANYWAYS. Dave dropped me off there and then headed to Lindsay's house to hang out with the guys. The salon was fun. Especially when I agreed to wash Lindsay's mom's hair to help save time since they were short some employees. Well I turned the water on and the sprayer that was pointing straight up sprayed so hard and right into my face and hit the ceiling. Leslie, me and her mom started dying out laughing and I just stood there like ow my eye. hah. That thing had some power to it. So we cleaned up the water from everywhere while we were laughing and then I did successfully wash her moms hair. So thankful that I had not done my makeup or hair yet cuz that would've really sucked.

After we all had our hair done we went back to Lindsay's moms house and changed into our dresses. Then we rushed to the wedding location and almost immediately started taking pictures. They took us on a golf cart over the hill and through the woods for some pics and yea it was hot and like I said my poor hair that was pretty had fallen to just be a frizzy, stringy mess. After pics we pretty much just cooled off inside again before the ceremony started.

Lindsay looked so pretty!

Lindsay's 2 older nephews walked her down the aisle and it was so cute. Her cousin Brody is hilarious and he loved me since he saw me in my turtle backpack and anytime he saw me the rest of the night he'd say "Hey Donatello!" So cute :) After the ceremony and more pictures when I was done I took my shoes off (FINALLY they were so uncomfortable I hate heels) and went to find Dave. We ate and oh man was it delicious. Lindsay's cousin had grilled sausage & peppers and stuff and there was this awesome spinach dip and seriously it was the best wedding food I've ever had. After eating we danced. The DJ was good and played a good mix so it was fun. After the reception we helped clean up and then went to get something I left at Lindsay's mom's house then went to Lindsay and Dean's house to say goodbye to them and everyone else since they were kinda having a party everyone was there. Dave and me got home around 1am and passed out. We were exhausted.

Brody and Kasen walking Lindsay down the aisle

Lindsay & Dean

Brody & Me aka Donatello ;)

Sunday, August 17th
We went to have lunch at Michelle's and she is an amazing cook. We had shrimp and grits and they were like better than restaurant good. AMAZING. Then we returned the rental and Dave & me had to say goodbye (Erika wasn't leaving til the next day). I hate saying goodbye to my parent's. My mom always cries and it makes me so sad to see her sad.

Our plane stopped in Chicago but we didn't have to get off the plane. We landed in Denver at like 10:50 PM and went to baggage claim where we waited FOR FREAKIN EVER for our bags. Apparently they got "jammed" and it took forever to fix. Then when the bags finally started coming out again only about 5 made it before they stopped AGAIN. And then a worker guy came and jumped down in the hole and pulled out MY bag and held it up and said "This is the bag!" My bag. My houndstooth bag....yea you can't miss it. Totally implying that my bag was the reason we had to wait for an hour for them to un jam a freakin bag. WHATEVER. I was so aggravated by this point and went over to get my bag. It ended up working out to our advantage cuz Dave and me both complained to South West about the long wait for our bags and we both got $75 towards a future flight so it was ok that I didn't get home until 1 am and started my 3rd semester of nursing school the next morning.

So for the whole Summer Dave and me went to 11 different states. Go us!
1. Colorado
2. Utah
3. Arizona
4. Nevada
5. Wyoming
6. South Dakota
7. Nebraska
8. Louisiana
9. Mississippi
10. Florida
11. Alabama